Fortescue Metals to cut ‘few hundred’ jobs

Ore processing facility at Iron Bridge. (Image courtesy of Fortescue Metals Group.)

Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group is cutting a “few hundred” jobs as part of its efforts to maintain cost position, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Local media reported Fortescue, the world’s No.4 iron ore miner, had started laying off more than 100 workers as its ‘Iron Bridge’ magnetite project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia neared completion, calling it “business as usual”.

“Projects such as Iron Bridge are coming into production phase soon, while our work in Gabon is just kicking off. As this occurs project staffing naturally ebbs and flows,” the company said in an email response to Reuters.

The job cuts are significantly fewer than the 1,000 number local media had reported in February as part of a cost-cutting practice.

Fortescue, which is planning to develop a global green hydrogen business, had in mid-February, reported a drop in first-half profit due to higher operating costs that, it said, reflected significant demand for skilled labour demand across the sector.

The layoffs come at a time when major global miners have reported lower profits as iron ore prices slipped from elevated levels due to unprecedented lockdowns in China.

(By Rishav Chatterjee; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Savio D’Souza)

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